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What you want to say – 16th November 2016 November 16, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

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1. makedoanmend - November 16, 2016

I know there are a number of teachers on this site.

It’s come to my notice that c. 3% of uni students with whom I attend courses no longer bring anything other than the ubiquitous hand held device – sans pen, paper and definitely no books. Nothing.

They just show up and sit there.

The few that are at it, do this consistently.

Yesterday one arrived at school looking as if they had just got out of bed and thrown on a pair of runners. It reminded me of a Sunday morning in NY when a punter in a bathrobe would nip down to the newsagents to buy a newspaper. (The student was not wearing a bathrobe.)

The higher education experience has definitely morphed from my more tender years – basically become a diploma-for-profit factory.

Does anybody else see this? new trend just? lifestyle choice ‘:-\? or reaction of indifference to indifference?

or just the fevered machinisation of an aging mind?

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WorldbyStorm - November 16, 2016

I saw something like that three or four years ago when I last dealt with undergrads. People completely disconnected from courses and the overall experience. Some were actually disruptive. Others just hunkered down and surfed social media. There’s always been a component of that, but it seemed to be much more widespread in recent years.

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sonofstan - November 16, 2016

“when I last dealt with undergrads.”

There’s a line in Nabakov’s Pnin that goes something like this: ‘as with most senior academics, Pnin had long ceased to notice undergraduates’

I await the day🙂

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makedoanmend - November 16, 2016

🙂 – As an undergrad I’m appaled – but I’m easily appaled.

The students aren’t in the least disruptive, tbh. Just seem so disinterested. Electronically connected by associatively disconnected.

My favourite game is not being a team member. Totally screws up the phd tutors –

“ok kiddies get into groups of 3 or 4 and just bandy about some ideas…”

‘…no thanks I came to uni to become an independent thinker…’

Just so screws up their ‘official’ world view – it sadistically fun.

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Michael Carley - November 16, 2016

Seen on twitter recently: an academic overheard one student saying to another “if she’d wanted us to think for ourselves, she should have said so.”

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sonofstan - November 16, 2016

A colleague was teaching writing skills to a psychology class recently and when he asked for feedback at the end was told ‘ it was alright, but it was all just ideas’

*We’re all beginning to sound like Kingsley Amis*

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RosencrantzisDead - November 16, 2016

Which is still better than sounding like Martin Amis.

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WorldbyStorm - November 16, 2016

Okay that definitely didn’t come out the way it was intended. About four years ago I gave up my part time contract because the hours and numbers had gone crazy, for the same wage I was expected to work four or five extra hours. I already had other work and those hours would ha d put that at risk. Since then I’ve only taught MAs on a block each year. Financially it was a big hit but in terms of peace of mind it was priceless. I loved the undergrad teaching, they were interested for the most part but numbers went skyhigg as they merged areas and years and it was plain impossible to cope with. I’m sure that’s a familiar story, I know i was lucky I had the other work to fall back on.

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sonofstan - November 16, 2016

@WBS – no,I know you didn’t mean it that way.

@Makedoanmend – the saddest thing about the institution I teach in is the now empty furniture block; exactly the thing the town used to ‘do’

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Jim Monaghan - November 16, 2016

I suspect it has not changed that much. You always had the slackers. the form changes. I am moving to a position where I think too many people go to Third Level (or at least what we call Third Level). Is the academic route the best one for all. Is there a snobbery about it. I now think that maybe instead of getting rid of technical schools we should have reformed them in the German way.

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makedoanmend - November 16, 2016

Yeah WBS,

During the 4 years I’ve been wending my own way through ‘higher’ education for a Bsc. (very part time’ish), the numbers attending has gone through the roof. The teachers just can’t cope. Three of my original profs have retired early. The number of exams we take is ridiculous.

The noblest profession, imo, has been crapified on the alter of profit.

J Monaghan,

I’m not counting these people as wasters, per say. This seems to be another new cohort – just emerging. They appear to be serious students at other times but just disengaged from lectures and some other traditonal school functions. For instance, they engage during laboratory work. (It’s just that students turning up to school without pen and paper is like a brickie turning up to work without a trowel and spirit level – to me anyway.)

Might be that pen, paper & books are so yesterday, or maybe it’s due to our courses becoming very content constricted in order to fit some preconceived idea of what businesses demand (+ outsourcing of employee training onto the tax payer and student – biz loves subsidies).

I’d agree with your ideas about tech schools, but I’d extend them into life-time education institutions as well.

Also, the Scot govt created 35 new apprenticeships in iron working last year in order to retain old skills. Something I’d view with extreme favour at home.

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Jim Monaghan - November 16, 2016

I went to UCD in 1966. Engineering Merrion St. Most common engineering lectures had 150 plus. I doubt it got much better or worse

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Jim Monaghan - November 16, 2016

I know this can be seen as heresy.. A huge number of students are not equipped for Third Level. Many subjects require a higher level in the Leaving Cert that many actually have. Indeed this goes back to primary where many are not equipped for the next level up. Eg and it it juts one transition, many first year teachers in secondary schools spend until Christmas seeing how many are so far behind they need extra help. One small example. If you don’t have a decent honours maths in the LC, you are not going to graduate in Science or Engineering. (without massive help[). Oh and if you do, I see grade inflation at a high level.

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Gewerkschaftler - November 16, 2016

Trouble is Jim, the German way is getting more and more diluted with increasing numbers taking the academic route despite there being options to learn a trade properly and get an apprenticeship.

That has to do with a lot of things, not least the repression of wage levels, and the fact that some high-tech production jobs (for instance automating a production line) really do need an engineering degree. Even car mechanics who want to go into their trade in depth need a good grasp of computing, data buses etc. these days.

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6to5against - November 16, 2016

The problem with the old techs – as with the divide betwen grammar schools and secondary moderns in the UK – was that students weren’t guided there because they showed either an aptitude for, or an interest in, learning a trade. They were guided there because they weren’t considered very good academically.

It was always a strange (and class-ridden) concept to say that if a student wasn’t very good at maths and english, he would obviously make a good carpenter. And the converse was that if a student was good at maths and english, he should clearly go to university – even if he really wanted to be a carpenter.

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yourcousin - November 17, 2016

Here contractors are working with high school programs to start mentorships while the students are still in high school. After that there are the union apprenticeship programs. I joined the brotherhood before I graduated high school. If the wages come back then the apprentices will come back. Remember that being good in school and being smart are two very different things. Some of us would never be able to sit in cubicle all day or behind a desk. That came out even in school.

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6to5against - November 16, 2016

I did a science degree. At the time, I would have been considered something of a slacker due to the large number of lectures I missed. (Though I think the term itself was some way in the future back in the 80s).

I managed to get through exams though, by hitting the library for intense bursts every year, begining at or around march 17. Everything I needed was either in the books, or in the borrowed notes.

At the time i used to feel occasional qualms of guilt about my poor attendance. In retrospect, I’m irritated I turned up as often as I did. The lectures were pretty much impossible to follow as they were far too technical, and principally existed as a means of tranferring notes from the teachers desk to ours without passing through the minds of either.

If students are turning up now with neither pen nor paper but with something decent to read, I wouldn’t be too worried about them. But it depends on what they’re reading.

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WorldbyStorm - November 16, 2016

Where I went probably during the same period as yourself numbers were small in years, no more than thirty, sometimes less but on a thurs they’d group all the groups of those year across a discipline – say three or four groups in total 120 plus into a hall where we’d get a two hour slide show. I invariably found myself nodding off. And I think in that context which was like your own it was too top down – I learned little enough (there was another issue relating to content but that’s irrelevant to this discussion). On the other hand in the groups of 29 to 30 it was much better, near enough one on one at times and that’s my optimal model.

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2. Gewerkschaftler - November 16, 2016

Are there any monetarists left outside of Germany?

The link between money supply (variously defined) and inflation is part of the state religion here in Germany, but yesterday the director of the Bank of England officially disowned the theory. Draghi (ECB head) certainly doesn’t seem to have any time for it.

Probably Weidmann ( head of the Bundesbank) doesn’t believe it. But the myth will continued to be propagated here because its just to politically useful to ditch.

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6to5against - November 16, 2016

The problem is, though, that it has now become law in the EU, via the fiscal, pact. There is going to have to be some imaginative ‘interpretation’ of what constitutes a deficit at EU level if we are not to be stuck with this for decades to come.

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Gewerkschaftler - November 16, 2016

The fiscal pact technically has to do with budget deficits and not monetary policy. It was more an successful move by the German lunatics in charge of the EU asylum to enforce a common fiscal policy. However the lunatics do generally confuse the two.

As far as I can tell there’s nothing really to stop the Poles from printing a lot of zlotys and putting them to work on building infrastructure and stimulating the local economy. Even better a local electronic currency that is not tradeable outside Poland. The polish political class don’t choose to do so, I guess because they are still convinced monetarists as well.

And I’ve just demolished my own argument about the restricted influence of monetarism.

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6to5against - November 16, 2016

I know you’re right in saying that the two are different – but don’t they both come from the idea of keeping inflation low – which is the real obsession?

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Gewerkschaftler - November 16, 2016

Yes they do stem from the same obsession in Germany – the fear of an inflationary event which is carefully tended by the meeja. The standard received narrative is that inflation was caused by public debt and the shock of loss of property value paved the way for dictatorship.

Historical reality is more that private debt and the private banks ability to print money as debt had a far greater role in the great inflation and that the austerity policies of Brüning paved the economic path to the Nazi takeover. That’s kind of what I meant by the lunatics conflating the two goals, 6to5.

The real goal of both fiscal and monetary policy of course, is to empower capital at the expense of reducing the space for democratic choice to practically nil, because of its potential threat to the capitalist class.

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3. roddy - November 16, 2016

The 2016 award for getting to the point with the minimum of words goes to an Argentinian check out clerk at Stuttgart airport.According to the Guardian,he refused to allow the obnoxious Jeremy Clarkson to board a plane and by way of explanation uttered the immortal line – “I’m an Argentinian-fuck you”!

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Joe - November 16, 2016

🙂

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4. Gewerkschaftler - November 16, 2016

Charlie Stross has gone full bore inverse Russia Today tin foil hat.

Charlie’s site is one of the rare ones where the reading the comments doesn’t make you want to go out and drown yourself in a vat of ale.

A Russian writes amusingly:

Oh come on… Being Russian I find things British press (and certain British citizens) are saying about Russia annoying and wrong (I personally blame Cold War mental residue and Bond movies for that).

It seems to me that people in the West don’t quite understand the trauma that USSR’s demise was to most of the people. The old ideology had fizzled out – but Gorbachev and the Politburo found nothing better than to start courting the Russian Orthodox Church as a replacement. So now our political system is more like that of the times of Ivan the Terrible and early Romanovs. As for ideology, it’s exceptionalism that was preached in Moscow in 17th century (Third Rome doctrine) with a dash of Soviet propaganda. A twisted and unnatural mix, but in the same time a reaction to the perceived slight… even treason by the West. We did believe that we will be welcomed with open arms once USSR is no more. What we got instead was NATO at our doorstep, Russian refugees from former Soviet republics (the ones who were not killed outright) and the choice between alcoholic and crazy apparatchik in 1996. And then the backlash from that brought us Putin who had promptly lost all contact with reality a few years into his first term. But by this time most of Russians were too tired of politics and the price of oil was on the rise so we just stopped giving a damn. Too much wars and revolutions tend to have this effect, y’know… And that’s how we ended with the government that is trying to roll back everything that happened after 1680s.

So I don’t think there is some conspiracy or that Putin had any influence in the US elections. It’s more like everyone in the elites just got the “brilliant” idea that it’s much easier to blame “them” for everything that’s wrong with the system than to try to fix it. So the likes of Trump are seen as an enemy of the current establishment – who are definitely classified as “them” and “enemy of my enemy…” comes into play, hence the support for the crazy.

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CL - November 17, 2016

“But if we focus too narrowly on the local context, we will lose, because there is a de facto global fascist international at work, they’ve got a game plan, they’re quite capable of applying the methods of Operation Condor on a global scale, and if we don’t work out how to push back globally fast there will be nobody to remember our graves.” Stross
Alarmist? or?

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CL - November 17, 2016

‘By the time Operation Condor ended in the early 1980s, as many as 60,000 people may have been killed.’
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/exposing-the-legacy-of-operation-condor/?_r=0

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CMK - November 17, 2016

60,000 dead under Operation Condor – another entry to the ‘Black Book of Liberal Capitalism’.

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yourcousin - November 17, 2016

I know I am waaaay out of step with CLR folks on this one, but former Warsaw Pact countries (often kept in the pact by military invasions against the civilian population) weren’t going to just forget the occupation of their countries. I mean I’m not even sure they got a, “sorry about that” when it was all done.

I mean no sooner had the USSR collapsed than Russia started clawing back what it could (thinking involvement in Georgia here). So why wouldn’t they seek assistance in maintaining their independence? Remember no one gets to choose where they’re born and many folks find themselves squeezed between forces that often leave them with some very unpalatable choices. If folks buy into the concept of sovereign democracy then surely Eastern Europeans have a right to seek protection from the country that has repeatedly invaded and occupied them? And indeed honors the people who did it.

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Gewerkschaftler - November 17, 2016

It’s a question of perceptions, and as you quite rightly say, a question of where you were born and where you live.

For instance the new Polish left party – RAZEM – is decisively pro-NATO, which one can understand, given Poland’s recent history.

I personally don’t trust Putin an inch. But as the Russian commentator says, had ‘the west’ taken Russian sensitivities into account and not adopted a ‘winner takes all’ approach after the fall of the wall, we would be much less close to regional war in central Europe.

And that, I think, we can all agree would be a desirable thing.

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RosencrantzisDead - November 17, 2016

Does anyone know what the rationale for maintaining NATO after 1990 was? The Warsaw Pact had dissolved long before, so why retain it?

I have mentioned it here before but Russian militarydoctrine and grand strategy thinking holds that rival nations will use internation regimes and treaties (economic, human rights) as a precursor or a means to attack their enemies. There is some truth to this: look at how the US used economic sanctions and choking off access to payment systems to punish Iran and Wikileaks. As such, Russie holds these international treaties are continuations of warfare and/or dominance. Whether this conclusion is accurate I will leave to others to decide.

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CMK - November 17, 2016

Does 1945 count as an ‘invasion’? Would have thought it counted as a liberation. Unless the Eastern and Central European Right really consider life under a genocidal Nazi regime (with the annihilation of the Poles to follow that of the Jews) better than life under an authoritarian but not genocidal Stalinist regime? Actually, it wouldn’t surprise if they did.

Can see why those countries would fear a Putin led Russia but the EU and the USA do seem rather keen on provoking conflict. Of course, if Russian or Chinese forces were based all over Central America and the Caribbean the US would remain completely calm and indifferent.

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WorldbyStorm - November 17, 2016

I’m conflicted, I do agree it was most immediately a liberation, later and sooner in some cases as we know it took on different aspects. But its also important to keep in mind the pre ww2 complexion of countries there, some of which were authoritarian in various varieties, and who fought who in the war was also a factor of course there’s also a truth that the post war dispensation was a carve up which was wrong. I do think national sentiments are understandably raw in many if these states and that has to be factored in. I’m sorry there wasn’t more of an effort to embrace Russia in the 90s and lock it more into global security structures.

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yourcousin - November 17, 2016

Unless you were the Baltics being reinvaded, ditto Poland. Or if you were Ukrainian and suffered through Stalin’s genocidal policies. One may have also felt different if the “liberation” was so boisterous that abortion had to be legalized (Hungary). Especially if that type of “celebration” lasted for more than two years after the war ended. Or if folks who resisted the Nazis and helped hide Jews and other non desirables were murdered by the “liberators” and dyed in the wool fascists found new jobs doing the same old thing (main Arrow Cross torturer in Budapest) for the liberators. Or if you were the wrong ethnicity that the liberators didn’t like. Other than that I’m sure it was a grand old time that made the liberation of Paris look like a sock hop social.

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CMK - November 17, 2016

Not denying, for a moment, that the Stalinist conquest of Eastern and Central Europe did not come with a high price in human lives and the continuation of oppression. But what it wasn’t accompanied by was the continuation of the ongoing genocidal policies of the previous Nazi occupiers.

Given that Nazi policy, if they had won the European War, was to conduct a vast campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing of Eastern Europe, retaining some Poles, Ukrainians, Russians etc as serfs and slaves, and repopulating the region with ‘ethnic’ Germans and other Aryan types.

Stalin’s policy was to use the region as a buffer against the capitalist West but there was no genocide. Political repression, murder, torture, poor living standards – yes, there were all of these and more – but not genocide. I think that distinction is germane.

Also, it is worth recalling that some of the Stalinist repression post-1945 was aimed at eradicating collaborators with the Nazis – in Western Ukraine, the Baltics etc.. These countries can’t cry victims of Stalin and simultaneously worship the Latvian SS division and Stepan Bandera and the complicity of many in these countries in the Nazis efforts to annihilate the Jews.

And, of course, post 1945 the re-imposition of Western rule in the colonial world was as savage, if not more so, as Stalin’s efforts to bring Central and Eastern Europe under control. The Setif Massacre in Algeria by the ‘Free’ French on VE day in 1945 is a good example. The brutal French war in Madagascar in the late 1940s. The British crushing of the Vietnamese resistance with the aid of the defeated Japanese armies. And so on.

If history ends at the boundaries of Europe then these things don’t matter as they are just non-white savages being deservedly crushed. But if, as I do, you think we have to look at history on a global level, then comparisons between the history of Eastern and Central Europe in the period and fate of the Western colonies aids, considerably, assessments of the relative impacts of rule by Stalin on the countries of that part of Europe.

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yourcousin - November 23, 2016

CMK,
Sorry for the delayed response [insert typical excuse here].

I do not have the time this morning to type up an ethnic breakdown of the great terror and the Holodomor. I would argue that it was genocide as certain ethnicities were at infinitely higher risk and things like the Holodomor were man made catastrophes, not just a bad harvest or two. And they were targeted at a specific group.

I’m well aware of what the Germans intended to do. I just don’t see how the Soviet plan was any better seeing as how millions upon millions of people were starved, murdered, deported, etc.

You argue that Bandera was compromised by his dalliance with the Germans. By my count he was in league with the Germans by around four months prior to his arrest and deportation to a concentration camp. The Molotov pact was in place almost two years. You do appreciate that it was not Bandera or even Latvian nationalists that were responsible for the Holocaust? It was the Germans and their main enabler in that quest in both Eastern and Western Europe was the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (i.e. Stalin).

Again as to what folks can and can’t commemorate. It should go without saying, but I will reiterate it anyways, obviously I don’t like Bandera or the Baltic SS contingents. But what I also don’t do is sit back from afar and pass judgement without recognizing that in those times and those places it really was the world turned upside down. I mean you argue that folks should have opposed Hitler based upon a genocide that hadn’t happened yet when within the last decade they could look around and see the millions murdered around them by the Russians. What did you think they would do? Remember that the Baltics states didn’t join the war the war joined them. It is some fairly serious Monday morning quarterbacking to cast aspersions at this remove.

As for the boundaries of this debate. We have kept it at the boundaries of Europe because we are discussing Eastern Europe. If we are just going to go expanding the circle to suit our fancies I will see your south east reference and raise you a Sagan,

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

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CMK - November 23, 2016

No need to apologise and thanks for the response.

I have no doubt about the horrors of Stalin’s campaigns against Ukraine and other nationalities within the USSR, as well as his ruthless elimination of all the supporters of Trotsky, the Left Opposition and the Bolshevik Old Guard.

In the context of my initial response, which was to question really whether 1945 could really count as another Russian ‘invasion’ given what had been happening since 1939, I think the points I raised are all reasonable enough.

However, I do take the points you mention about how it was impossible to decide who to align with at the time in the context that nobody in the Baltics, for instance, knew what would transpire over the coming years. And, of course, the horror of the period of that time in East and Central Europe is unfathomable to us in Ireland and in qualitatively and quantitatively different human impact to the twentieth century in Ireland, which while turbulent and violent was nowhere as bloody or horrific as, for instance, Poland.

Bandera raises a few interesting points. He rose to prominence in pre-war Western Ukraine, then part of the Polish state, as an explicitly fascist would be Ukrainian ‘Fuhrer’. The Polish state was utterly ruthless in its attempts to crush Ukrainian national identity, language and culture. This led to resistance and to repression. Yes, the German’s kept Bandera on a short leash once they invaded in 1941 but Bandera’s organisation where overwhelmingly responsible for the bloody Lvov pogrom at the end of June 1941. Ukrainian nationalist elements believed the Germans would, once they had annihilated the USSR, facilitate the creation of a fascist Ukrainian state and this hope meant these elements co-operated extensively with the Nazis during the holocaust. Of course, the Germans had no intention of allowing the Ukrainians any such leeway but the still needed them for their war effort.

Returning to the point about whether 1945 was a ‘liberation’ in that region. The biggest victims of genocide, mass murder, deportations etc. were ethnic Germans. Almost none of these processes were driven by the occupying Soviet forces but where driven by indigenous elements. Then there was, the much small scale but still utterly tragic, killing of Jewish holocaust survivors who returned ‘home’.

I would say the Soviet presence in Eastern Europe in the immediate post-1945 period could not be characterized as an ‘invasion’, whatever about following decades. That’s not to dismiss that that presence was accompanied by colossal repression, but did not have as its prime objective the eradication of the peoples of the region and their replacement with Soviet proletarians. The Nazis plans all along were precisely to eradicate the populations of these areas and replace them with Aryans.

That Sagan quote is worth remembering.

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5. CL - November 17, 2016

Mars here we come;

“It has been widely reported that among SolarCity, Tesla, and the rocket company SpaceX, Elon Musk’s confederacy of interests has gotten at least $4.9 billion in taxpayer support over the past 10 years.

This is almost half of Musk’s supposed net worth—taken from the pockets of American citizens and put into companies that can survive only by cannibalizing each other, spending without end, and promising that success is always just beyond the horizon and yet never arrives.”
http://dailysignal.com/2016/11/13/its-time-to-stop-spending-taxpayer-dollars-on-elon-musk-and-cronyism/

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EWI - November 22, 2016

Hasn’t this always been the model, for railways etc.?

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6. Michael Carley - November 17, 2016

Hardly news to some of us here (though we are surprised to discover that university teaching is one of the most “prestigious professions in Britain”)

Academics teaching or doing research in British universities will typically have spent years earning doctorates or other qualifications, yet more than half of them – 53% – manage on some form of insecure, non-permanent contract. They range from short-term contracts that typically elapse within nine months, to those paid by the hour to give classes or mark essays and exams.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/16/universities-accused-of-importing-sports-direct-model-for-lecturers-pay

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sonofstan - November 17, 2016

“one of the most prestigious professions in Britain”
Indeed. I tell taxi drivers I’m an accountant.

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Michael Carley - November 17, 2016

Don’t tell mother I’m a fully tenured prof.
She thinks I play piano in brothel.

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WorldbyStorm - November 17, 2016

🙂

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sonofstan - November 17, 2016

There’s weird inverse relationship between the prestige fo the university and precarity of employment conditions. In our place, at the foot of the league tables, most of the teaching is done by full-timers; for a start, we don’t have many graduate students to take up the slack. Whereas, 25 miles up the road in Oxford – you might have heard of it – most of the teaching will be done by those on varying degrees of short-term contracts, leaving the full-timers to concentrate on the research that earns the uni its money and reputation – and this is repeated throughout the Russell Group.

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Michael Carley - November 17, 2016

What’s even more cynical is the way telly-profs get used in the advertising for the universities which employ them.

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sonofstan - November 17, 2016

The very old joke, supposedly scrawled in the jacks at UEA when Malcolm Bradbury worked there:
What’s the difference betweem God and Professor Bradbury?
God is everywhere. Bradbury is everywhere but here.

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7. Joe - November 17, 2016

This got lost in the Brexit Woes Redux thread. I was rather pleased with it so I’m sticking it in here again.
Re irexit vs eirexit. I’m going to sue that lackey IT journalist who robbed my word from me by adding an ‘e’ to the front of it. Sheer effrontery, that’s what it was. I’ll get my coat…

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Gewerkschaftler - November 17, 2016

You should certainly have the effrontery to charge a license fee for whichever me-too idiots decide to start an “(e)irexit ‘n’ racism” campaign / party and use the word wot you invented in the privacy of your own brain.

Register it as a trade mark of Joe’s Political Consultancy Ltd. immediately!

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8. Michael Carley - November 17, 2016
ar scáth a chéile - November 18, 2016

and if you havent got enough change down the back of the sofa, Verso, are giving ebook of this away for free til tomorrow:

Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move by Reece Jones:

https://www.versobooks.com/books/2231-violent-borders?discount_code=EmergingFutures

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9. Starkadder - November 17, 2016

I’m sure this has been already mentioned, but I couldn’t find it. It seems our old chum Justin Barrett has been trying to launch a new political group, the National Party, with James Reynolds:

http://www.thejournal.ie/nationalist-party-justin-barrett-3087718-Nov2016/

All we need is Michael O’Leary to join up and we really will have an Irish Trump to worry about.

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sonofstan - November 17, 2016

I suspect O’Leary is socially liberal and pro- immigration. His wanker-ness lies in other areas.

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WorldbyStorm - November 17, 2016

Yeah, a lot of commotion about it on social media. Hard to believe there’s any great problem if his previous track record is anything to go by. Still, different times we live in so no complacency.

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Alibaba - November 18, 2016

Nationalist authoritarianism came into public view in leading imperialist countries US and UK with Brexit and Trump, wrapped in demagoguery. This tends to undermine traditionally dominant capitalism as well as eroding democracy. This would fall short of fascism. The proposed National Party is trying to give this development an Irish twist. Look at what Barrett stated in his book:

‘Barrett proposed the abolition of the parliamentary system – indeed, he predicted its inevitable decline. “Parliamentarianism,” he wrote, “is a dead idea walking.” A better system, he argued, was an elected presidential system, where political power would be concentrated in the hands of one individual.’

What’s more, ‘Unrestricted immigration, he warned, would change “the whole nature of the country – not merely ethnically, but culturally, socially, politically, religiously and otherwise”. ‘
 
I recall the controversy which ensued when state papers revealed that Jewish refugees were prevented from coming to Ireland during World War 2 because it would ‘dilute the culture’. I don’t remember the exact formulation, but same old, same old from Barrett eh? And nowadays he is an active organiser who advocates such menacing notions. That said, as indicated by Ed below: ‘The political forces represented by Barrett had precisely zero TDs at the [Nice] time’ and I would like to think this will continue. But, ‘Still, different times we live in so no complacency’.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/national-party-leader-espouses-creation-of-catholic-republic-1.2870955
 

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Dr. X - November 23, 2016

Does he do anything for a living? Or is he on the wingnut welfare payroll?

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Alibaba - November 23, 2016

I’m afraid you’ve drawn a blank here as I simply don’t know. Perhaps others are better informed.

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dublinstreams - November 23, 2016

doesn’t mention any that stuff on their website

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10. irishelectionliterature - November 18, 2016

An excellent piece on Trump and how a lot of his messages on US Foreign Policy connected to voters
http://nonsite.org/editorial/listening-to-trump

a flavour…

He told his audiences what many of them already knew but never saw discussed on TV, that US foreign policy has delivered apocalyptic outcomes: “We would be so much better off if Gadhafi were in charge right now. If these politicians went to the beach and didn’t do a thing, and we had Saddam Hussein and if we had Gadhafi in charge, instead of having terrorism all over the place, at least they killed terrorists, all right?”
Meanwhile, Hillary ramped up her anti-Russia and anti-Assad rhetoric giving voters the impression she would deliver yet more war.
Trump also linked war to economic suffering in America. Consider this, from a New Hampshire speech: “We spent $2 trillion in Iraq. China is taking a lot of the oil, just so you understand. ISIS may have it and Iran may have it, but China is taking out a lot of the oil. Can you imagine? We spent—we never do anything right with China. We spent $2 trillion. Thousands of lives of great people, mostly young, beautiful people, wounded warriors, who I love, all over the place, all over the place, not treated properly by the way.”
And then: “Iran and Iraq, they were the same. They were twins. They have wars for years—wars, boom. One goes this way, one goes that way. One—and I said if you take out one, the other one is going to take over. Well, we took out one and look at the mess we have. We destabilized the Middle East and it is a mess…. I mean I’m not a fan of Saddam Hussein, but he ran the place. And, he had no weapons of mass destruction. And now instead of Saddam Hussein, we have far more brutal. We have ISIS… What do we get out of this? What do we get?”

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11. Joe - November 18, 2016
12. dublinstreams - November 18, 2016

A former activist with the militant anti-abortion group Youth Defence, Justin Barrett is best remembered for his role in the defeat of the Nice Treaty referendum in 2001.

Barrett and his insurgent campaign, an eclectic mix of young anti-abortion campaigners and left-wing anti-EU protesters, caught a cosy political establishment by surprise. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/national-party-leader-espouses-creation-of-catholic-republic-1.2870955

is that sentence badly worded is Leahy referring to the entire No to Nice campaign or Barrets ‘No to Nice’ group have both Barret and Coughlan and left wingers in i?

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Ed - November 18, 2016

What a f**king chancer Leahy is. He knows perfectly well Barrett wasn’t the ‘leader’ of the No to Nice campaign in either referendum; the anti-Nice left—Trotskyists, Greens, SF—wouldn’t touch him with a bargepole. The media acted as if he was the leader because he was an easier figure to discredit than progressive Euro-critics. The political forces represented by Barrett had precisely zero TDs at the time; the anti-Nice left had more than a dozen; normally that’s the holy grail for journalists like Leahy, electoral representation determines how seriously you should be taken, but not here. Boosting the profile of the far right to try and damage the left in one way or another: that’s becoming a pattern over the last few years.

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CL - November 18, 2016

“Support fell away from Barrett following the exposure of his and his supporters’ links to European neo-fascist groups connected to Roberto Fiore’s International Third Position by Searchlight and the Sunday Mirror in September 2002 during the second Nice referendum campaign. At this vote the Irish people voted in favour of the treaty. Barrett and another Youth Defence founder, Niamh Nic Mhathuna, had attended conferences of Fiore’s neo-fascist Forza Nuova in Italy.

Barrett had also attended the German NDP’s “National Day of Resistance” rally in Passau in May 2000 at which former members of the Third Reich spoke along with international neo-fascist figures such as Udo Voigt, leader of the NDP. Youth Defence had also written a letter to Candour, an independent British far-right and antisemitic magazine, requesting funding at the time of its foundation in 1992. When confronted by video film of brown-shirted skinheads marching with neo-nazi flags through the conference on national television, days before the second Nice referendum, Barrett’s defence that he was unaware of the nature of the meetings became a national joke.
It was during this period that McGeough, then acting as organiser of the Sinn Fein anti-Nice campaign, became involved with Barrett and his cohorts.
http://www.stichtingargus.nl/vrijmetselarij/aoh_sl.html

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13. Deadon@hell.com - November 18, 2016

I love the lad Barrett. If I was gay I’d love to grab the jug ears on him and whack the arse off him.

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14. roddy - November 18, 2016

And McGeough has been virulently anti SF ever since.

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15. CL - November 18, 2016

First they came for the Muslims:

‘A former spokesman for a major super PAC backing Donald Trump said Wednesday that the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was a “precedent” for the president-elect’s plans to create a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.’
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/17/japanese-internment-is-precedent-for-national-muslim-registry-prominent-trump-backer-says/

Trump ‘hires leaders of various white nationalist hate groups and Islamophobic war hawks to the White House staff’
http://www.peoplesworld.org/article/islamophobia-animates-trumps-white-house-picks/

‘nearly all of the people president-elect Trump is considering appointing to the most powerful national security positions in the United States government .. believe in ..apocalyptic conspiracy theories pushed by a small fringe of people on the extreme far-right.
http://www.vox.com/world/2016/11/16/13638606/trump-secretary-state-defense-giuliani-bolton-islam-terrorism

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16. Tomboktu - November 18, 2016

Classmate after financial analysis [spell predictor gave me ‘financial absurbist’] class today: I did a PhD where I analysed ice melt and mineral and ion flow rates into the soil from a glacier in the Alps using 16 different angles for the sun over four seasons but I still don’t understand how he creates a balance sheet for a small business that had seven transactions.

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17. Joe - November 19, 2016

I can’t stand that ‘sport’ that Conor McGregor is the best at. It’s showbiz and it’s savagery mixed into one. I’d ban it and I’d ban professional boxing too.
Anyway the thought occurs. Who in Ireland would be Trump supporters? Lots of different kinds of people probably. But would I be right in speculating that most of the young men and women who follow Conor McGregor’s ‘sport’ would be Trump supporters if and when it came to it?

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sonofstan - November 19, 2016

I think that’s a bit of a leap to be honest. The one person I know well who is a boxing devotee, and who has gone to MMA events, is a staunch republican socialist.

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botheredbarney - November 19, 2016

Muhammad Ali, former heavyweight champion, supported Obama.

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Dr. X - November 19, 2016

I have a colleague in the states who is a staunch leftist (not liberal – leftist) in a part of that country where that can’t be easy. And she’s also mad for MMA.

MMA is defintely not my sort of thing, though.

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Joe - November 22, 2016

http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/why-are-we-prejudiced-towards-mma-3093578-Nov2016/.

Fair enough. Looks like we’ll have to ban rugby as well.

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dublinstreams - November 22, 2016

if its allowed to played that way it was the other day then Rugby should be banned, violent pychos, and pyscho fans, I’ve more a problem the way Rugby and GAA+ IR is sometimes often played then I have MMA.

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18. Tomboktu - November 19, 2016

It may be an artefact of the photograph, but the lighting at the Social Democrats conference looks more like a theatrical set up than what I’d expect for a party conference.

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sonofstan - November 19, 2016

Is that in the convention centre? Those lighting pods in the roof are common to all their rooms, I think

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19. roddy - November 19, 2016

Alex Maskey MLA is a former boxer and people often wonder why mouthy dissidents don’t subject him (to his face anyway) to the same abuse as other SF MLAs!

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20. Joe - November 19, 2016

CLR Brains Trust I need your help. The daughter is home for the weekend and she asked me what’s neoliberalism. I told her it was capitalism, free market, globalist but liberal on social issues.
Can anyone give me a good definition in a few sentences please?

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Dr. X - November 19, 2016

Neoliberalism is an ideology that seeks to enhance capitalism by subjecting individuals to various forms of discipline. It is more than a simple revival of classical liberalism, with its emphasis on freeing markets; it also seeks to reconstruct individual perceptions of self,other, and society, in order to remove social and political obstructions to the market order. Thatcher’s line about how “economics is the method, the point is to change the heart and soul” is key here.

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Starkadder - November 19, 2016

“CLR Brains Trust I need your help.”.

Hmm. Who wants to be Professor Joad? We just need a pipe-smoking fare-dodger to go “It all depends what you mean by…”😉

On a less pleasant note, “Billboard” is reporting that the the memorial park for Beastie Boy Adam Yauch has been defaced by swastikas and pro-Trump graffiti:

http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/7581401/beastie-boys-adam-yauch-memorial-defaced-swastikas-trump

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Alibaba - November 19, 2016

I can’t do a few sentences, Joe. But here’s an interesting article on Neoliberalism that roots it in Thatcherism and Reaganism and connects it with Trump’s victory. Good food for thought.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/14/neoliberalsim-donald-trump-george-monbiot

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Joe - November 19, 2016

Lads and lasses, thanks all.

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CL - November 19, 2016

“Since the late 1980s and the so-called Washington Consensus, neoliberalism — essentially the idea that free trade, open markets, privatisation, deregulation, and reductions in government spending designed to increase the role of the private sector are the best ways to boost growth — has dominated the thinking of the world’s biggest economies and international organisations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank…
Stiglitz…says the “neoliberal euphoria” that has gripped the world since the 1980s is now gone…
In other words, Stiglitz says: “Neoliberalism is dead in both developing and developed countries.”
http://www.businessinsider.com/joseph-stiglitz-says-neoliberalism-is-dead-2016-8

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CL - November 19, 2016

“Reactionaries on the left of the political spectrum increasingly describe others very critically as “neoliberals” and policy proposals that are not state-led as forms of “neoliberalism”. ..

no political party, grouping or individual in Ireland describes itself/himself/herself as “neoliberal”…
those who bandy about the term neoliberalism here feel little need to define it. ..
Talk of so-called neoliberals dictating the policy agenda has simply no supporting evidence…
In a recent speech president Michael D Higgins stated that “the neo-liberal model of unregulated markets, the privatising of the public space and the redirection of active participating citizens with rights to an existence of passive consumers with unlimited needs has exacted a terrible price on our economy and society”….
This is not only a highly politicised statement – made despite the constitutional obligation on heads of State to remain above the political fray -Such a crude and politicised characterisation Ireland’s current woes will give succour to reactionaries and do nothing to raise the quality of intellectual life in Ireland.”
Dan O’Brien.
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/neoliberalism-is-being-used-as-a-straw-man-to-close-down-reasonable-debate-on-policies-1.1424703

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21. Tomboktu - November 19, 2016

Do not, I repeat, do NOT buy a ‘self-contained’ carbon monoxide alarm.

When it reaches the end of its life and chirps once every minute to tell you the battery needs, it is not possible to remove the bloody thing.

</end of public service announcement>

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22. Jim Monaghan - November 22, 2016

Two cultural events.
http://www.nationalgallery.ie/en/Exhibitions/Creating_History.aspx and

National Print Museum on 1916. https://www.nationalprintmuseum.ie/?s=1916

Both well worth avisit

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23. EWI - November 22, 2016

For whom the bell Tols:

http://rabett.blogspot.ie/2016/11/and-then-they-came-for-richard-tol.html

(And yes, I’m laughing so hard at this piece of schadenfreude🙂

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